When the drivers were announced for the 2018 edition of the Blancpain GT Series, there was still one name missing, namely the driver who would race alongside Philippe GIAUQUE and Eric DEBARD at the wheel of the #89 Mercedes-AMG GT3 #89, in the AM category of the Endurance Cup… The suspense is now over: the driver will be Fabien BARTHEZ ! The famous goalkeeper from the French national football team, World Champions in 1998, made his first steps in motorsport with Jérôme POLICAND, ten years ago, behind the wheel of another German brand, in the Porsche Carrera Cup. After winning the 2013 FFSA GT Championship with the French team, followed by three editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Fabien has chosen to take up a new challenge, that of the Blancpain GT Series.
A former Team AKKA-ASP regular has decided to step back into service for the 2018 season of the Blancpain GT Series: Fabien Barthez will be making his return to Jérôme Policand’s team to take up a new challenge, that of the Endurance Cup.
Fabien will share the wheel of the #89 Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Swiss driver Philippe Giauque and Frenchman Eric Debard, two drivers he was able to get to know in the team a few years ago. Ten years after making his motorsports debut, his motivation and thirst for victory are undimmed.
It was in 2008 that Jérôme Policand entered him in the French Porsche Carrera Cup, with another two races the next year. In 2009 he discovered the FFSA French GT Championship, an experience which delighted him, and pushed him to invest himself more deeply in the category.
He met up with Jérôme again in 2011, France, taking part in the Gentlemen Drivers category of the French GT Championship. A successful experience, as at the end of the year he claimed his first title alongside Gilles Duqueine.
In 2012, he moved to the Pro-AM category and finished the season in 8th position in the French Championship (having claimed a fine win in Navarra) as well as a podium in the same category in the 24 Hours of Spa.
The next season was the culmination of his career to date. After a fantastic season, he was crowned FFSA GT French Champion 2013 with Morgan Moullin-Traffort.
In 2014, one of his dreams came true when he took part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Once again, he achieved his goals alongside Jérôme.
Enchanted by endurance racing, 2016 saw him set up a team with Olivier Panis, discovering the world of prototypes and the LMP2 category. He took part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans on a further two occasions.
Today sees him return to his first love, GT. Fabien should quickly be back up to speed behind the wheel and with the team. See you in Monza on April 21st and 22nd for the first round of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup.
Source. Team AKKA-ASP/Photo. P. HECQ/GAAZMASTER